We are very proud of the outstanding studio facilities provided by the Wirth Art Centre, located in the heart of the School, beside Staunton Gallery. Separate art studios are located here for Middle School and Upper School, and dedicated studios for Media Arts, painting, sculpture/ceramics, and printmaking. Six studios with the space, lighting, and resources enable us to deliver a superior program in a creative environment.
The objective of the visual arts is to foster the artistic and creative talents of the young man. Humans are unique in that they have the ability to imagine, and thus create works of great originality and beauty. Students learn about and develop technical skills though practice. They learn about the creative processes, techniques, concepts, and principles with the scope of developing an awareness of the organization of art. At every stage they create their own work, which, with practice, becomes increasingly more sophisticated and personal. The studio experience is enriched by studying the works of other artists, and students learn about the creative contribution artists have made in every civilization. We visit local areas of interest, local artists’ studios, and museums and art galleries.
Media arts introduces students to the exciting world of computer generated media in a state-of-the-art facility. Here, the impossible becomes possible and students participate in everything from the creation and manipulation of images using the industry standard software: Adobe PhotoShop Elements and PhotoShop CS and directing, editing, and titling their own digital movies in Premiere Pro, to creating and designing the School’s yearbook, The Review, with state-of-the-art desktop publishing software – InDesign CS and the development of interactive CD ROM’s and DVD’s. Students also explore 3D image and environment creation and experiment with 2D and 3D animation. Skills learned in these courses are useful in many applications, like personal website design and academic and professional presentations.
- Visual Arts, Grade 9, Open
This course offers an overview of visual arts as a foundation for further study. Students will become familiar with the elements and principles of design and the expressive qualities of various materials through working with a range of materials, processes, techniques, and styles. They will learn and use methods of analysis and criticism and will study the characteristics of particular historical art periods and a selection of Canadian art and the art of other cultures.
As an introduction to a variety of studio-related activities, this course includes drawing, painting, design, printmaking, and sculpture. Students are encouraged in creativity and discovery, through the exploration of various materials, as well as developing technical skills and control. Students will become familiar with the elements and principles of design, composition, and linear perspective. The focus for art history is on the pre-historic and ancient civilizations: Egyptian, Greek, and Roman.
- Visual Arts, Grade 10, Open
This course emphasizes learning through practice; building on what students know; and introducing them to new ideas, materials, and processes for artistic thinking and experimentation. Student learning will include the refined application of the elements and principles of design, incorporating the creative and design processes, and the relationship between form and content.
Students will also learn about the connections between works of art and their historical contexts. Course objectives may be achieved either through a comprehensive program or through a program focused on a particular art form (e.g., drawing, painting).
The focus of the course is on studio-related activities. Course objectives will be achieved through a comprehensive program which includes a variety of media and techniques, including drawing (pencil, charcoal, conte); painting (watercolour, gouache, acrylics); design; printmaking; and sculpture (plaster and clay). Students will study a selection of Canadian art, and characteristics of art from the middle ages: architecture, sculpture, book illuminations, and painting.
- Visual Arts, Grade 11, Open
Prerequisite: Visual Arts, Grade 9 or 10, Open
This course focuses on studio activities in one or more of the visual arts, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, and/or multimedia art. Students will use the creative process to create art works that reflect a wide range of subjects and will evaluate works using the critical analysis process. Students will also explore works of art within a personal, contemporary, historical, and cultural context.
Studio activities include drawing (pencil, charcoal, conte, pastels), painting (watercolour and oils), design, printmaking (intaglio or relief), and sculpture. Students will create art works that explore a wide range of subject matter including the human figure. In art history students will study Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism as well as art forms from Canada and other parts of the world. They will learn art criticism and evaluate art works, providing grounds for their aesthetic judgments.
- Visual Arts, Grade 12, University/College Preparation
Prerequisite: Visual Arts, Grade 11, University/College Preparation or Open
This course focuses on the refinement of students’ skills and knowledge in visual arts. Students will analyse art forms; use theories of art in analysing and producing art; and increase their understanding of stylistic changes in modern and contemporary western art, Canadian (including Native Canadian) art, and art forms from various parts of the world. Students will produce a body of work demonstrating a personal approach.
It focuses on studio-related activities. Emphasis is on producing larger, more personal works using a variety of media (new, as well as familiar). The student will develop competence in representational drawing, expressive drawing, and use of drawing as a process to document. The student will develop competence in a painting media (watercolour, acrylics, or oils) and produce a body of work that demonstrates the ability to create and transform images. Students will explore a variety of subject matter, but will be encouraged to select their own media and develop their own original compositions.
Advanced Placement (AP): With departmental approval students may elect to prepare for an AP exam related to this course.